Auto News

Mallya Offers Chandhok To Prove F1 Mettle

By Motortrend India Staff   |   10 September,2009

Dr. Vijay Mallya has finally agreed to give test to Karun Chandhok to prove his skills after Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone expressed his disappointment over Dr. Vijay Mallya on his decision to replace Giancarlo Fisichella with Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Karun Chandhok will be given tests in Force India's driving simulator but team boss Vijay Mallya denied he is under pressure to fast-track an Indian national to the Formula One grid.

Team owner Mallya responded on Thursday by revealing that Liuzzi's contract as reserve driver meant he had to step up to replace Fisichella. He also told that Force India doesn't need to have an Indian driver at any cost.

"Bernie obviously recognises vast potentials in India and that an Indian driver in F1 will probably, I say probably, make the sport more popular in our country. So one cannot find fault with his comment or desire," said Mallya.

"The entire issue has got too dramatised," Dr. Mallya added. "I have been discussing the issue with Karun Chandhok and have already agreed to put him in the driver simulator to see how he handles the F1 car.

"At the end of the day he must win some GP2 races and come out good in the F1 simulator. And if he is competitive in the simulator, I would be the first one to offer him a position in Force India," Mallya said.

Related Content